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RV Review: Keystone Bullet 221RBS Travel Trailer

Today’s review is of the Keystone Bullet 221RBS, a smaller couple’s camper that I’m considering after I totaled my own camper. This has the same floor plan, more or less, as the Rockwood Mini Lite 2109s, and there are some definite similarities. 

Keystone Bullet

One of the brands which sold in decent numbers at the dealership I worked for was Keystone’s Bullet line. But ours were built out of the Pendleton, Oregon, plant. Keystone also builds these in Indiana, and I was able to glean more information about those than the West Coast models. 

While Bullet is one of the affordable laminated offerings in the Keystone family, there is a lot of value the company puts into these. But the start of it all was a longer three-year structural warranty on the trailers. 

On the subject of structure, these lightweight trailers use a Norco BAL® frame. That is a high strength steel frame that tends to be lighter just because of the kind of steel used. But there is a combination of welded pieces and huckbolted pieces for strength. 

One of the interesting things that customers noted when they looked more carefully at the Bullet trailers we had was the “hung” rear walls. These walls aren’t laminated, as the side walls are. So they can look less finished—but it’s not an uncommon practice. 

Keystone and solar

Keystone has really been at the forefront of towable manufacturers in the world of solar. Every Keystone trailer includes at least 200 watts of solar on the roof along with an MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controller. There are plenty of towable manufacturers who have no solar whatsoever. There are some that even offer no solar as an option. So, the fact that Keystone includes 200 watts of solar in all their offerings is, to me, a big deal. 

In fact, where I’m writing this, my confuser is being powered by solar! 

There’s also an AC vent system called Blade™, which Keystone touts as offering 20% more performance than other systems. 

Further, Keystone has a whole “Innovation Lab” that the company states is there to take pain points out of the RV experience. This includes a device called a Giggy Box. It allows you to disconnect the battery completely—which is good for storing the rig. 

Lastly, one of the pain points for a lot of lightweight trailer owners is sagging floors due to water damage. But Keystone has their HyperDeck™ flooring. The company claims it has better screw retention (for where screws are used to hold things in) and also is impervious to water damage. 

What’s inside the Keystone Bullet

I like this overall packaging, as mentioned. Part of the reason is that it’s not a really large trailer, but offers good, usable interior space for a couple. 

While my own preference would be theater seats, this trailer comes with a decent-sized U-shaped dinette. I know some folks prefer this. The odd thing is that this trailer is almost completely carpetless except for under the dinette—sort of as a seal for the slide. I’d rather have no carpet at all, but it is what it is. However, carpet under where you eat is less than ideal, of course. 

The Rockwood/Flagstaff offering puts the 12-volt fridge all the way at the back of the trailer by the door. So you could just grab a cold one from the fridge pretty easily. The Bullet puts a cabinet here instead, but with a small window above it—which is nice for letting in light. 

Both have the same corner bathroom arrangement. It is a bit tight around the toilet for finishing the paperwork for the job you came to do. 

The bedroom in this features a full 60” X 80” true queen bed. Further, there are closets on either side of the bed with a space behind them that is fitted with both 12-volt and 120-volt outlets. So you could charge your noisy toys or run your CPAP or whatever. There’s also a door to the rather spacious front pass-through storage. You could put a laundry basket in there and keep your dirty laundry out of the main body of the trailer. 

Boondocking and Travel Access

Kitchen counter space is made more plentiful with an “L”-shaped counter. You could also put stools behind the counter and use it as a breakfast bar. 

But this counter extension is also what blocks the access to the bed with the slide in. Everything in life is a give and take, isn’t it? 

SolarFlex

This trailer comes with Keystone’s SolarFlex™ 200 package. That includes 200 watts of solar, but you can add more. In fact, if you have your dealer install a matching solar panel, giving you 400 watts in total, that panel is covered under Keystone’s warranty. 

Further, Keystone has been working with dealers and Dragonfly Energy, the makers of Battle Born batteries, to provide these batteries to dealers to install. Those would also be covered under the Keystone warranty. It’s a great situation and absolutely puts Keystone at the forefront of solar in the travel trailer world. 

In summary

A few years ago the Bullet line went to solid gray cabinets from wood-tone cabinets. They’re still made from actual wood and are good cabinets, but the solid color means that any flaw or scratch shows up more easily. In cases where trim pieces were stapled into place it was pretty obvious, to me. So I preferred the older style with the wood look. It simply covered up these kinds of things better. 

I know every time I review a Keystone product I get folks who write me complaining about them. But, honestly, as a dealership we had great experience with Keystone products. They didn’t require a lot of warranty work and, when they did, Keystone stood behind the products really well. 

I like this floor plan a lot

I like this floor plan a lot as a good compromise between exterior largess and interior space. The things Keystone does to differentiate their products do make a difference in the usability of their products. I think a lot of companies could do well to look at the way Keystone handles solar as a solid benchmark for how to do things well. 

*****

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Keystone exclusives
Carpet under dinette

SUMMARY

The Keystone Bullet 221RBS is a couples' camper that sits in the sweet spot between overall size and usable interior space.

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Steve
6 months ago

Final PS: I found an almost identical Keystone Bullet to our Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S. It is the Bullet Crossfire 1850RB. It is 7″ longer than our 2109S, but that gives it sufficient length for a real 60″x80″ queen bed.

Steve
6 months ago

PS: Just looked at the Bullet website, Tony. They show a 221RBSWE that is dealer-stock only. It has little counter space (no “L”), but a slightly bigger bathroom, an outside kitchen, and something you really like for those early-morning risers–a wall and sliding doors between the bed and the rear of the trailer.

However, it does not show optional theater seats, so the dinette is the only seating. Guess you can never quite get the “perfect RV”! But, if you could find one of these, you could likely have the dealer substitute theater seats for the dinette (at extra cost, of course!).

Steve
6 months ago

Tony, the floorplan shows theater seats as an option. And just measuring the difference in width front to rear on the floorplan, it appears that the theater seats may be short enough to allow more room to get by with the slide in. The L-shaped counter is nice, but not at the expense of getting to the bathroom at 2:00AM while parked in the narrow RV spaces at Flying J with the slide in.

This is 5′ longer and has a GVWR 1600# heavier than our 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S. Wouldn’t think you needed five extra feet of length just to substitute a 60×80″ queen for a 60×74″ “RV queen”. Seem to remember that Rockwood had a 2503S (?) that was sized more like this Bullet, but that floorplan could be long gone by now.

Are you seriously considering a two-axle TT with a slide to replace your totaled single-axle, no slide TT? If you are, welcome to the 21st Century travel trailer world, Tony!

Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Congratulations! Looks like a good fit for you. And all kidding aside, you will enjoy the extra room the slide provides, especially when fixing dinner and watching TV. Are you getting it with the theater seats? And does it come with a curtain like our 2109S had to block the light when one member of the family gets up much earlier than the other?

Ron Seidl P.E.
6 months ago

Very similar layout to my Cruiser RV Shadow Cruiser 235RBS. But the Shadow Cruiser is 4525 dry and can carry over 3000 pounds.

Tommy Molnar
6 months ago

Our usual complaint about the cheesy bathroom fan, and no room for ‘paperwork’. No fans anywhere else either. I like the sit-around dinette, but wifey does NOT. I really like that there is solar included (albeit not much, but better than most). Optional Lithium batteries too. Admittedly though, I’m discovering that Lithium batteries are not without their own problems up here in the high cold desert of northern NV. And shockingly, no outdoor kitchen! That’s a joke. 🙂 🙂

Bob p
6 months ago

Now this trailer I could still tow with my Frontier, but the gray cabinets are a deal killer, I don’t like gray, reminds me to much about how old I am. Lol

Dave
6 months ago

We had a Keystone Bullet and towed it 22,000 miles. Very reliable. Our main gripe was the jack knife sofa. If it had theater seats, we might still own it. Bullets are a great value for the money.

RV Review: Keystone Bullet 221RBS Travel TrailerThe Keystone Bullet 221RBS is a couples' camper that sits in the sweet spot between overall size and usable interior space.

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